A white chocolate cranberry cake is popular Christmas holiday recipe. Something about the red and white colours not to mention the sweet decadent taste.
But it’s also perfect for any time of the year you have a hankering for a sweet decadent cake. A white chocolate cranberry cake combines the fruity sweetness of a cranberry cake with the creamy goodness of a white chocolate buttercream frosting.
There are several ways you can go about baking your cake. The easiest is to bake a single cake with cranberries and then add the white chocolate frosting at the top.
Alternatively, make a layered cranberry cake with white chocolate filling between the layers. You can do two to three layers depending on how thick you want the layers to be.
Another option is to make a bundt cake (in a bundt pan) and then pour the white chocolate frosting on top. The only downside with a bundt cake is that it takes much longer to bake – about 65-75 minutes.
For our recipe, we’ll go with a layered cake. It’s pretty to look at and easy to make.
What You’ll Need
A. For the batter:
- All-purpose flour, 2¼ cups
- Unsalted butter, 170g
- Baking powder, 2½ teaspoons
- Salt, ½ teaspoon
- Granulated sugar, 1½ cups
- 2 eggs
- Vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons (double the amount if using vanilla essence)
- Frozen or fresh cranberries, 1 cup
B. For the frosting:
- Unsalted butter, 220g
- Confectioners’ sugar, 280g
- Salt, ¼ teaspoon
- Heavy cream, 2 tablespoons
- White baking chocolate, 170g
- Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
- Prepare two round baking pans, three if you want a 3-tier cake. Apply a non-stick spray to the pans or use the traditional greasing and dusting method using butter or shortening and flour. Alternatively, add parchment paper to the sides and bottom of the pans.
- Cream butter and sugar using a handheld or stand mixer. Beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time. Blend one egg into the mixture before adding the other.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and blend them into the mixture.
- Add flour and beat a low speed to incorporate it into the liquid mixture. Be careful not to work the batter too much as it could result in a dry and chewy cake. As soon as all the flour is wet, stop the mixer. If at this point the batter seems too thick, add a small amount of milk – just a few tablespoons until you get the right droopy but thick consistency.
- The last ingredients to add to the batter are the cranberries. To keep the cranberries from sinking to the bottom of the bowl, coat them in flour then fold them into the batter using a silicone spatula.
- Divide the batter among the prepared baking pans. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Use the toothpick method to check for doneness.
- Let the cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes then turn them over on a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
As the cakes cool, prepare the frosting.
Cut the white chocolate into small pieces and add them to a microwave-safe bowl. Add three tablespoons of milk to the bowl and pop it into the microwave.
The trick is to make sure you do not overheat the chocolate since it easily burns. It should melt without getting hot.
Set your microwave to 50% power and let it run for 30 second. Remove the bowl and stir the milk and chocolate using a silicone spatula.
Return to the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir again. Keep up with the 30-second bursts until only a few small chunks of chocolate remain. Let these melt outside the microwave.
Now, to your electric mixer. Combine cream and butter in a bowl and beat until smoothly blended. Add the white chocolate and beat some more.
Finally, add powders sugar and beat at low speed until you have a smooth and creamy frosting.
If the frosting is too soft, chill it for an hour before spreading it on the cakes.
To assemble the cake, spread a layer of frosting on one of the cakes then place the other on top. Add more frosting at the top.